What sets Nevada County’s End of Summer Bash apart? Why, it’s the pig races, of course. | TheUnion.com

What sets Nevada County’s End of Summer Bash apart? Why, it’s the pig races, of course.

More than 100 people enjoyed last year’s End of the Summer Bash at Rincon del Rio, netting more than $15,000 for Gold Country Community Services.
Submitted photo |

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Gold Country Community Services

Third Annual End of Summer Bash

When: 5 p.m. Sept. 16

Where: Rincon del Rio, 10450 Rincon Way

Tickets: $75

Phone: 530-615-4541

Information: GoldCountryServices.org

Organizers and returning guests say it’s simply the best: the best location, the best food and the best fun.

Are supporters of the third annual End of Summer Bash biased? Yep, and proud of it.

“You get to wear flip flops!” said event coordinator Shanin Ybarrando. “How often do you get to wear flip flops on a beach in Nevada County? They bring in sand to make a beach along the river. It’s definitely worth the drive to the south county.”

The Sept. 16 Bash is a social celebration as well as a fundraiser for Gold Country Community Services, the organization that provides essential services to western Nevada County seniors such as Meals on Wheels. Yes, there are the obligatory standards of a charity affair, such as dancing under the stars and a live auction. But only at this annual money-maker will you find pseudo pari-mutuel betting on pig races and RC model boat competitions.

“I have gone the past two years and it continues to be the one event that has it all, including games, good food and pig races,” said Grass Valley City Council member Jan Arbuckle, who is a staunch Bash fan. “It’s all for a very worthwhile cause at a beautiful setting along the river.”

The setting is the idyllic 215-acre farm called Rincon del Rio (Bend of the River), adjacent to a winding stretch of the Bear River in southern Nevada County.

Carol Young, whose family owns the property, is self-deprecating when explaining why she opens her home to strangers, prepares meals and drinks, and spends weeks planning games and contests.

“My property tax is the same whether we use the place to help others or not,” she joked.

More seriously, she continued.

“They (Gold Country Community Services) do good work,” Young said. “For some of the elderly people they deliver meals to, it’s the only person they see. It’s almost like a daily welfare check. But the main reason we do this is because these guys put the ‘fun’ back in fundraiser. It’s an authentic, small-town event with pig races, geese flying over, boat races, and everybody knows everybody. Everyone is involved.”

The pig races are a hallmark of the event, and playful betting on the feisty piglets gets fast and furious. Winners whose favorite oinkers are the most agile over an obstacle course are entered into a prize drawing at the end of the night.

“Even if you lose, you’re a winner because the money goes to charity,” Young said.

Last year’s fundraiser netted $15,000, and organizers hope Saturday’s event will top that figure.

Much of the food to be served at the buffet dinner is grown at Jardin del Rio (Garden of the River), a five-acre garden within Rincon del Rio. The meal will feature caprese skewers, roasted corn, vegetable lasagna and other farm-to-table dishes. Libations are included.

“I attend a lot of fundraisers and I love this one because it is the most fun,” said Keoni Allen, who has attended the Bash the past two years. “It’s not stuffy; it’s fun.”

Allen is owner of Sierra Foothills Construction, a primary sponsor of the event. He and his wife, Peg, are honorary chairs of this year’s fundraiser.

“It’s just great fun at a great location,” Allen said. “Carol and her family work hard to ensure everyone is comfortable, involved and has a great time.”

Lorraine Jewett is a freelance writer who lives in Nevada County. Contact her at LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

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